10.06.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

The European Patent Office Has Assaulted Patent Quality While Trying to Distract From That

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

German Tornado

Summary: The EPO’s lack of interest in the merit of patents that it is granting poses a grave threat to Europe; the ‘patent lust’ of EPO management is helping nobody, definitely not patent examiners (who are the very core and heart of the Office)

MANAGEMENT of the European Patent Office (EPO) — like the new Director of the USPTO — has lost sight of the importance of patent quality and patent judges. Judges are treated like enemies because they guard patent quality (they refuse to accept wrongly-granted patents, based on the respective laws).

“Examiners constantly complain that they can no longer perform their job like they’re supposed to (as per the EPC).”Buried under a load of puff pieces, like the UPC nonsense we've just mentioned, is press coverage about decrease in patent quality. SUEPO has just cited one article to that effect (list updated yesterday). “New EPO messages reveal quality decline and ‘confuse’ staff,” the headline says. The EPO’s management would prefer nobody to see this. Instead, see the JD Supra press release that’s an EPO puff piece from Barley Snyder. From his opening paragraphs:

During my time in Germany, I have learned and discussed with colleagues differences between American and European patent laws ranging from the nuanced to the more pronounced, and the differences in argument strategies corresponding to these legal distinctions.

But one of the commonalities between the patent laws and processes has recently become especially clear.

The patent process, by its nature, requires a patent examiner to conduct legal analyses regarding technology, including proverbially stepping into the shoes of a person “with ordinary skill in the art” at the time the patent application was filed, to determine whether written claim language of the present application is sufficiently different from the prior technology to issue a patent. This determination necessarily involves varying degrees of judgment based on experience. Critical points of understanding can depend on small variations in language. An examiner’s decision in a patent application is necessarily colored by his or her own opinions, personality and understanding of both the application and prior art.

Or, as things stand at the moment, demands and ‘targets’ from above. Examiners constantly complain that they can no longer perform their job like they’re supposed to (as per the EPC).

Hogan Lovells has a new essay on the EPO allowing software patents in Europe (so-called ‘computer-implemented inventions’ or ‘CII’) through misuse of broad and vague buzzwords like “AI”. Published on Friday, it said this:

Earlier this year the European Patent Office (“EPO”) held its first ever conference on patenting artificial intelligence (“AI”). Following intensive discussions on the impact of AI in the patents sector, the EPO promised to update its Guidelines for Examination, to provide specific guidance on the examination of AI applications under existing computer-implemented inventions (“CII”) practice and case law.

The EPO has delivered on its promise. A preview-version of the new Guidelines is now available on its website. These Guidelines are set to take effect on 1 November 2018. Plot spoiler alert – the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines. Those of you who are familiar with the Guidelines will immediately spot that this new section on AI and machine learning has been inserted under the part of the guidelines that deals with mathematical methods.

We wrote about this as recently as yesterday when we also mentioned patents on life in light of this hearing, as covered yesterday by IPPro Patents. Ben Wodecki (of IPPro Patents) called these patents on nature “unlawful” in the headline (quoting those who judged them):

The European Patent Office (EPO) has reduced the scope of a patent granted to Carlsberg and Heineken related to conventionally-bred barley.

The decision was made during a public hearing in Munich, where examiners found that the patent, which covered conventionally-bred barley, its usage in brewing and the resulting beer, is now restricted to plants with a specific mutation which can influence the content of these flavours.

Originally, the patent covered all plants with a reduced content of some undesirable flavours.

The No Patents on Seeds pressure group said that it plans to appeal the decision as it is “only a partial success” and has called on politicians to take action.

The group had called on European politicians to speak out against companies abusing the patent system so that the EPO “will once again be reminded of their continuing responsibility to protect the common good”.

The EPO’s Web site has not said a word about it. The Twitter account of the EPO did not mention it either. Yesterday the EPO instead chose to belatedly post this nonsense: (warning: epo.org link)

The 58th series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which took place from 24 September to 2 October 2018, provided a unique opportunity to take stock of the progress in co-operation activities, and to define future directions. The EPO agenda included over 45 official meetings with national patent offices from other regions.

The meetings aimed to further strengthen relations with a number of strategic partners; these take the form of comprehensive co-operation plans which aim to streamline patenting procedures while building up national capacities, and to deliver high-quality training and assistance to the partner offices.

IP Australia officially joined the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) family by signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the CPC together with a comprehensive biannual work plan. This brings to 28 the number of offices classifying their patent documentation using this highly refined system. Other important developments were the signing of MoUs on co-operation with the National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property of Peru (INDECOPI), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO). The EPO also renewed its MoU on co-operation with the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia, a user of EPOQUE Net.

Seeing the European Patent Office in bed with WIPO (whose abuses can be similar at times) is hardly surprising. Both institutions are patent maximalists who more or less disregard science for the sake of lawyers. Patent offices were never meant to be pipelines for litigation; that kind of changed when a patent lawyer was put in charge of the USPTO, whereas the EPO got itself a politician in charge (and now a former banker).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  2. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  4. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  5. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  6. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  8. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  9. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  10. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  12. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  13. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  16. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  17. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  18. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  20. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  22. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  23. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 17, 2021



  26. How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as 'Privacy'

    In recent days we published or republished some bits and pieces about what DuckDuckGo really is; the above reader dropped by to enlighten us and demonstrate just how easy it is to see what DuckDuckGo does even at the client side (with JavaScript); more people need to confront DuckDuckGo over this and warn colleagues/friends/family (there’s more here)



  27. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  28. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler



  30. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts